Oregon legislators are trying to pass a bill that would ban all plastic bags across the state. Opponents of the bill lay out the following reasons why plastic bags should not be banned:
This is just the opinion of some Oregonians, but I believe it speaks for the majority of the opponents of a plastic bag ban.
Eliminating plastic bags completely needs to be a gradual process. Companies cannot afford the inconvenience it would pose to customers. Also not everyone agrees or cares about the detrimental effects plastic bags have on our environment. The only thing we can do is continue to educate the public to influence change. San Francisco is one U.S city that has already took the lead in banning plastic bags. New York City, Connecticut, Maryland, Portland, and Seattle are soon to follow as they take the first step in proposing a tax fee on plastic bags.
I don’t think that instant and outright ban on plastic bags is the best. This is because, the companies that produce them will hit the rock. I am of the opinion that a cocensus be reached with the producers to embark on the campaign for proper disposal of used plastic bags for onward collection by the companies for recycling. This will reduce its propensity of polluting the environment.
see also previous answers; and note that most plastic bags are not made from oil, but from natural gas – and even if they were made from oil, it will not have a notable impact on oil consumption, as all plastic, synthetic rubber, chemical feedstocks, etc., only uses about 3% of all oil (possibly up to 7% when you count processing and transportation).
Environment California, a grassroots-based environmental action group, is currently working on a campaign to pass a plastic bag ban in the state of California. Bags have already affectively been banned in communities throughout Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Environment California campaign is occurring in other large cities throughout the state, including Sacramento, San Jose, and Santa Rosa.
I think it comes down to the fact that plastic bags are just too popular/used so often that they cannot simply be banned without viable alternatives. I do not think that paper bags have reached that viable alternative yet.
In California, manufacturers are trying to convince us that plastic bags are fine, and by banning them we are limiting peoples choice.
With California lawmakers poised to vote on a historic effort to phase out plastic grocery bags, the American Chemistry Council is going all out to stop the proposal before the Tuesday legislative deadline.
The Virginia-based interest group, whose members include Exxon, Dow and plastic bag manufacturers, is a well-known player in California, where it has battled environmental bills and anti-plastic city ordinances it contends hurt businesses or limit consumer choice.”
Some communities are taking steps in the right direction to eliminate plastic bag use – in Washington, DC, for example, a 5 cent plastic bag tax instated in 2010 has cut plastic bag distribution in grocery stores by astronomical amounts, going from 22.5 million bags per month to 3 million within the first month of being instated. Even though revenues from the tax are being used to help clean up the Anacostia River, while simultaneously lowering the number of plastic bags in the world, some people still have the nerve to grumble about a 5 cent tax that they could easily avoid by bringing their own bags. I think that this mindset is the main reason plastic bags haven’t been eliminated altogether.
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